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Poster: He Live's Date: Feb 15, 2009 5:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

i went to the previous show in SF on 2/13. i had real reservations about going but i haven't seen a member of the band in the flesh since the disaster at highgate in '94

(speaking of which i am blown away by the reviews posted there! the show was utterly incoherent.... i felt sick to my stomach as jerry could barely remember, or perform, a word to US BLUES.... as we walked away at the end, me and the two guys i was with were so disappointed and just plain embarrassed for the band. we were like... "oh gosh, we're never doing this again," and we didn't. )

anyway, 14 some years since seeing the band, and really, i have listened to more dead in the last five years than i did when i was first "into" them, 88-90... and i have really come to appreciate billy as a drummer and just felt like going to show him a little love.

i saw oteil with ARU in the early 90s and realize even more now what a great band that was. (i guess they still play sometimes?... but w/o shawn lane? he was really the great foil to the col. playing a sick electric mandolin.) i saw max creek (masakowski) one time in 91 and just plain did not get it. at all.

and unfortunately the BK3 sounded more like max creek than the ARU or the dead. everything was the same tempo. there was very little in the way of dynamics. it was a 1234-Go! kind of jam session. masakowski is not a very appealing singer nor a captivating guitarist (to my taste). oteil is an amazing bassist but not a front man, and billy just played his heart out. but the music didn't afford him much chance to display any of his nuanced jazz skills, or much in the way of syncopation.... they did scarlet begonias and it was WAY TOO FAST! i mean, talk about a song that is wide open to syncopation... but that is not how it was played. it was just full steam ahead for ten minutes. not engaging.

oteil can sing ok and did his best with franklin's but it was still pretty underwhelming. maybe if they practiced and came up with some original material and some arrangements that forced them to play in different tempos and try some different things they could be a little more captivating but alas that is NOT how professional musicians work. they probably practiced once and then started doing shows. so what you get is a jam session -- a very monochromatic one.

we stayed for the first set. they played maybe 6 or 7 tunes, all about 10-12 minutes long. the best tune was probably when they had a guest guitarist who played a Hard to Handle-type r&b blues song. he had a decent blues voice, and was a much more interesting front man than masakowski. who, in his defense, seems like a guy who fronts the band and sings because no one else wants to do it. (whatever band he is in.)

the place was packed. the room was dense with pot smoke. most of the people seemed to be pretty "into it." and other than the fact that one of the best rock & roll drummers from one of the best of the classic rock & roll bands was in the house, playing his ass off -- i have no idea why.

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Poster: edgehead 2 Date: Feb 16, 2009 8:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

Thanks a lot for this post/description. I've been tempted to go this Friday's show in Denver but it's been more of a “I guess I really shouldn't miss this” rather than a “I can't wait for this show!!” kinda feeling. I do want to see Billy K but I've seen Oteil so many times in various bands over the years that if I hear his bass/vocal scatting I’m afraid I might put a bucket over my head. Plus my band is lobbying for a rehearsal that night so I guess duty calls. Thx. e

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Poster: He Live's Date: Feb 16, 2009 11:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

yeah, i did feel compelled to go check on mr k... and i don't regret it by any stretch. but, if you have been to some shows in your day, seen oteil a bunch... well, you probably ain;t missin too much if you don;t go. and if SF is any indication... they are not hurtin for ticket sales.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Feb 15, 2009 9:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

i pretty much agree with your assessment of the music, even if i only sampled one show whilst you were actually there; like i said, the music was just okay, the vocals horrible, but nothing that you would rave about or recommend; i will say this, i did very much enjoy Billy K. when he joined up with Papa Mali not so long ago:

i'd be interested in your opinion on that show, good or bad

also, as for the MONOCHROMATIC JAM TRIO, they did actually do quite a bit of rehearsing in this space:

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Poster: He Live's Date: Feb 15, 2009 10:23pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

interesting stuff that jamstage link. i didn't look too close but ..... well.... like i said... they sounded like practice a bit. i mean.... it was fairly aggressive full on jam session stuff. they didn't sound bad. but they are all seasoned pros i wouldn't expect that..... but there wasn't a lot to it other than 1234 GO. barely a bridge or even chorus to be found. more or less... two chord jammathon.

i was thinking, maybe half way through their run they will start getting more nuanced... i think they are mostly on the east coast. are you back there? why don't you suck it up and go and report back?

cheers arb!

(hell man, i'll even buy you a ticket if you call me on it.)

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Feb 15, 2009 10:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

the funny thing is, that Jamstage location is right down the road from my work (i could get there and back during my lunch break), but Billy & Co. pretty much always jammed/rehearsed outside my work hours (at least i recall it as so), which of course is to be expected; the problem with where i live, bands tend to play in Boston & New York and skip all the podunk places between, even provincial Providence RI; besides man, my show-going days are largely over ... though i will be seeing this outfit on 4/4 in Beantown:

great stuff ... if you're into the Morphine sound

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Poster: He Live's Date: Feb 15, 2009 11:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

i feel the same re: going to shows (though i suspect you have at least a few years on me).

to a degree, i think that it is on me for not trying very hard. but i also think, to a degree, there is not a lot of interesting stuff going on. there IS... A LOT going on... but the quality i am looking for is not there as far as i can tell.

i would go see a band like GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR or SIR RICHARD BISHOP or MASADA or something...... but there is just NOTHING like the GD anymore -- no kind of serious BAND that is touring like they did, putting on large theatre shows. i mean my whole take is that there never will be either.... that they were THAT special and unique in every way and it is just VERY UNLIKELY to happen again..... i mean, sure, i am not 17 anymore -- what is the chance i am gonna get that excited about anything?

PHISH had their shot... but they came too close on the heels of the dead. and without a single meaningful song to hang their hat on. i mean... the GD had a problem translating on LP, scoring a HIT, selling an album, getting radio play. but a least they had TRUCKIN, FREIND OF THE DEVIL, CASEY JONES, LIVE DEAD, TOUCH OF GREY...... a bunch of gold records. PHISH never had a damn thing! they are not going to endure...... can you imagine a PHISH forum in 20 years?????? i mean i liked phish okay? -- had fun at the shows.... but they did not BUILD anything the way the dead did........ MY MAN, there just isn't a lot out there worth going out to see.

well? i don't know... i am open to it -- i just don't think it's out there. please someone tell me i am wrong. people will tell you -- "hey man, wake up, there's a scene in (say) brooklyn man -- crazy bands -- energy, cellos, turntables, congas, robots...." and i say -- yea sure... i like LOCAL ARTISTS and cool GROUP EXPERIENCES and EXPERIMENTATION but good, enduring music that does not make.

honestly it is all very disappointing. and the MUSIC INDUSTRY (read:ticketmaster/livenation) is turning to live concerts as the "new" cash cow... seeing as they can no longer figure out how to sell albums or "discover" talent. OK, so they're are gonna get MORE money for KATIE PERRY concerts and JONAS BROS. concerts since the kids are all getting the music for free.

maybe in the short term it dont mean shit. but, in the long term, if the record companies stop dishing out the big album money and start looking for bands that can DRAW at concert halls... maybe we will start seeing some decent touring acts again. that is where it all started right? all the enduring bands made their mark in the concert halls, BEFORE they cut records.....

sorry arb, this is a ramble.... just thinking out loud i'm afraid.


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Poster: BongWzrd Date: Feb 17, 2009 11:29am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: MONOCHROMATIC JAM SESSION

Here are some bands that are trying to do something special live.....

Umphrey's McGee
Les Claypool
The Melvins
Sleepytime Gorilla Museum
Secret Chiefs 3
Acid Mothers Temple
The Flaming Lips

at least their all trying......But there will never be another Grateful Dead, ever.......

Also remember, to most people music is just background noise...Thats why most mainstream music is simple, short and repetative.....People don't want to REALLY listen to music anymore....And now that people don't want to pay for music anymore, the industry needs to figure out a new way to make money...JACK UP CONCERT TICKETS!!!!

Could you imagine if instead of Garcia dying in 95', the band just split up and Jerry got better and this was the reunion year???!!!!!!! Tickets would cost $10,000 by the time ticketmaster got done with it...